The first Compassionate Counsel legal aid clinic for participants in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program was on January 14, 2012. Since that time, hundreds of men and women have received free legal council as Nick Tidwell and several other attorneys volunteer their time and talents. Whether it’s helping assist someone with bankruptcy, court fines, expungements, or debts, Nick and his team volunteer every other month and serve 15 to 20 men and women each session. When asked why they do this, Nick replied, “We are Christ followers. We are following Him. He met needs. He was willing to have His schedule interrupted because He cares about people. We do this to demonstrate to those we serve how much God loves them.”
Before moving to Nashville, Nick was always looking for opportunities to serve others. “I fully believe that because I am saved, I am called to serve,” shared Nick. “I’m blessed. And I believe God has given me an opportunity to minister to others through my profession. I found myself asking the question, ‘Where can I do pro bono work while also sharing the Gospel?’” He found different opportunities to do pro bono work, but nothing on a consistent basis. The desire to serve in this capacity never went away.
After moving to Nashville in 2005, Nick and his wife have volunteered many times in the kitchen at the Mission.
“I quickly learned that the Mission is Gospel-focused and desires to share and show the love of Christ to those in need,” said Nick. “ The Lord clearly opened the door for Compassionate Counsel to serve at Nashville Rescue Mission. The ministry of Compassionate Counsel had just been launched in 2011, and we were seeking where the Lord would have us start our legal clinics.”
Nick clearly recalls his first meeting with a couple of Mission staff members to explore the possibilities. “Before I shared a word about the ministry, we started our meeting with prayer. The simple, yet powerful act of asking the Sovereign Lord to guide the meeting encouraged me, as I knew they too desired the Holy Spirit to lead. Before we finished praying, I knew I was in the right place, and a after sharing how we could potentially serve, it was exciting to hear that they had been praying for a group of attorneys that could help.”
“God does not have problems, only plans, and it was abundantly clear that He had planned this meeting at the Mission for His purposes,” said Nick. “We’ve been blessed to serve hundreds for the Lord’s glory since that first clinic in 2012, but it began with prayer. Seeing how lives are being impacted by the Lord through the Life Recovery Program makes it a joy to serve alongside others at the Mission. The faithful servants at the Mission do what they do because of the transformative power of the Good News of Jesus.”
“Nick Tidwell and his team of attorneys with Compassionate Counsel are a great example of individuals using their special gifts and talents to serve those in need,” said Rev. Glenn Cranfield, president and CEO of the Mission. “We are so grateful for their service.”